Competing Western Strategies Against the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction

Comparing the United States to a Close Ally

by David A. Cooper


Differences between U.S. and its Western allies' anti-proliferation strategies suggest wider patterns of disagreement, posing serious challenges to international anti-proliferation efforts.

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Cover image for Competing Western Strategies Against the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction

November 2001


Pages 280
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Security Studies/U.S. Defense Policy and Programs
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Preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) is an urgent national and international security objective. How to realize this goal is a controversial matter, though. Chemical and biological weapons and missile technology are threats to peace equaled only by nuclear weapons. Yet for the grave dangers they pose, and despite the intense alarm expressed over the proliferation of non-nuclear WMD over the past decade, scholarly studies of national endeavors to stop the spread of these weapons is scant. Cooper remedies this by developing conceptual and normative frameworks to better understand national non-proliferation efforts, then examines competing U.S. and Australian strategies, respectively, of capability denial, non-possession norm building and consequence management. While not wholly incompatible, these competing strategies often impede one another's progress and illuminate larger fissures in Western non-proliferation policies; fissures that ultimately may splinter international coordination and enervate future attempts to prevent the pernicious multiplication of WMDs.

Based on extensive primary research, including hundreds of previously classified documents, and interviews with dozens of present and past officials ranging from desk officers to cabinet ministers, Cooper's book will appeal to anybody interested in the issues of implementing effective non-proliferation policies. Policy analysts and scholars alike will benefit from the scholarly account written by a U.S. arms control expert.

Series Description

Praeger Security International

As the world gets "smaller" through technology and globalization, the security risks we face grow and multiply.

International security in the 21st century is not a topic that can be adequately addressed in nightly news soundbites or online articles intended to be relevant for 24 hours or less. Comprehending these complex issues requires insight from foreign policy specialists, diplomats, military officials, peace scholars, historians, and security experts—participants and observers on all sides of each conflict. This series provides the tools for understanding security issues in our uncertain, unstable world.

Written by subject experts and well-known researchers, the books in the Praeger Security International series give readers access to carefully considered and highly informed viewpoints on the critical security issues that threaten to destabilize our world. With titles authored by diplomats, first responders, economists, journalists, civil servants, military leaders and combatants, legal experts, psychologists, and other knowledgeable specialists, these books offer in-depth reflections, thorough analysis, and international perspectives that are unavailable in mass media. These titles represent an invaluable resource for students and researchers as well as anyone who seeks a deeper understanding of the complex issues that affect our lives and future.


  • Provides reliable, comprehensive information on all matters relating to security that is ideal for students, teachers, researchers, and professionals
  • Offers insightful commentaries written by a diverse group of scholars and experts who provide interdisciplinary treatments of newsworthy events and important historical occurrences
Table of Contents

IntroductionConceptual Framework for Analysis: A Typology of National Anti-Proliferation StrategiesUnderlying Normative Perspectives on Competing Anti-Proliferation StrategiesU.S. Proliferation ResponseAustralian Proliferation ResponseComparative Findings and AnalysisConclusionBibliography

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Putting Defense Back into U.S. Defense Policy cover imageBest of Intentions cover imageAmerica's Struggle with Chemical-Biological Warfare cover image
Future War and Counterproliferation cover imageThe United States and Arms Control cover imageUnited States Technology Export Control cover image

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